Strong EIB support for new energy investments in Greece

May 26, 2010

The European Investment Bank provides a total of EUR 400 million to HELLENIC PETROLEUM SA, for increased production of cleaner fuels through upgrading the Elefsina refinery.

The agreement was celebrated in a public signature ceremony in Athens. The contracts were signed for EIB by Mr. Plutarchos Sakellaris, Vice-President, and for HELLENIC PETROLEUM, Messrs John Costopoulos, CEO and Andreas Shiamishis, CFO, in the presence of Mr. Tassos Giannitsis, Chairman.

At the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Plutarchos Sakellaris said: "We provide this financing to benefit both development and environment in Greece, in our capacity as the European Union's bank. In order to counteract the impact of the crisis on the Greek and European economies, we are increasing significantly our lending. Loans for cleaner energy form an integral and important part of our extended offering. This underlines once again the key role that entrepreneurial activity plays in strengthening the structural competitiveness of the European economy. There is no doubt that this investment acts as a vital link in the innovation chain, creating employment and raising the level of job qualifications, while reducing fuel imports. This productive investment improves atmospheric conditions through state-of-the-art refining technology and increasing cleaner fuel production. We are pleased to have HELLENIC PETROLEUM, one of the most important players in SE Europe as a partner in this effort".

Mr. Tassos Giannitsis, HELLENIC PETROLEUM’s Chairman commented: "We are very pleased to be partners with the European Investment Bank in the cornerstone of our investment program, the upgrade of our Elefsina refinery. This 1.2 billion euro investment, the largest industrial investment ever in Greece improves competitiveness, creates new employment, produces better and environmentally friendlier products, reduces imports and increases exports and importantly improves the environmental performance of the refinery by substantially reducing all emissions. Project implementation is on track with completion expected in the second half of next year. In very difficult times for our country, HELLENIC PETROLEUM is committed to implementing its strategy for growth and competitiveness which involves a major investment program of over 2 billion euros in 2009-11 focused on our refining and marketing businesses and a major performance improvement initiative."

In the energy sector in Greece, EIB financing has been directed towards securing sustainable energy supplies, reducing the burden on the environment and promoting the development of new sustainable energy sources. Significant projects in this sector include support for (i) Public Power Corporation’s network modernisation, involving several schemes to reinforce and extend electricity transmission and distribution networks throughout the country; (ii) the Greek Natural Gas company’s priority Trans-European Network schemes, notably investments in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Revithoussa, which increased capacity and enhanced overall security of supply; and (iii) the construction of the high pressure gas pipeline connecting Komotini with Alexandroupolis and the Turkish natural gas network at the Greek-Turkish border. In the private sector, the TERNA renewable energy project involves the construction of wind farms to generate renewable energy, thus promoting EU and national policy on renewable energy and climate change.

About the EIB

What is the EIB?
The European Investment Bank was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1958 as the long-term lending bank of the European Union. The Bank's remit is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets which it lends on favourable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives. The EIB continuously adapts its activity to developments in EU policies.


  • enjoys its own legal personality and financial autonomy within the EU;
  • operates in line with strict banking practice and in close collaboration with the wider banking community, both when borrowing on the capital markets and when financing capital projects.

Who are the shareholders?

The EIB's capital is owned by the 27 member countries of the EU. France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom each have 16.2%, followed by Spain, with just over 9%.

What types of project does it finance?
There are six financing priorities, which are laid down by the shareholders and the EU, mainly in the following sectors:

  • convergence and cohesion, involving the poorest regions of the EU
  • small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • energy
  • research, development and innovation
  • infrastructure
  • environmental protection

Key figures: the EIB in 2009
Total financing operations: EUR 79 billion (+37%, compared with EUR58 billion in 2008) of which:

  • EU countries: EUR 71 billion
  • Accession countries: EUR 4.3 billion
  • Neighbourhood and specific Mandates: EUR 3.7 billion
  • Total raised by issuing bonds on the international markets in 2009: EUR 79.4 billion (compared with EUR 59.5 billion in 2008) via 262 transactions (247 in 2008).

Greece: the EIB in 2009
In 2009 the EIB provided a total of EUR 1.6 billion, up 33% compared to EUR 1.2 billion in 2008; of this amount, more than EUR 1 billion was to support SMEs and small and medium-scale infrastructure investment to be carried out by private or public bodies, including local authorities, as well as beneficiaries of any size. Financing was for investment in the fields of industry, tourism, services, the knowledge economy, energy and environmental protection in Greece. Further lending went to industry, urban development, transport and energy. With a EUR 10 million loan for the Hellenic Fire Services the EIB launched a new phase for Public Private Partnerships in sectors other than transport in Greece, while significant progress was made on the implementation of the JEREMIE and JESSICA initiatives.